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Global Spectroscopy Market Set to Expand

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Optical biopsy spectroscopy techniques, along with Resonance Raman and near- and short-wave IR techniques, are poised to enter clinical and consumer markets.


The global spectroscopy market continues on its rise toward the billion dollar zone. With increasing applications in pharmaceuticals and the life sciences, as well as some in industrial settings and food safety, the market is witnessing steady growth in several areas.

“The market size is huge,” said Robert R. Alfano, a professor of science and engineering at the City College of New York and director of its Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers. He noted that the 2PEF (two-photon excitation fluorescence) spectroscopy microscope market alone has grown to about $7 billion since 2005.

The global spectroscopy market is swiftly expanding, thanks, in part, to technological advances and demand in emerging regions and industries.

The global spectroscopy market is swiftly expanding, thanks, in part, to technological advances and demand in emerging regions and industries. Courtesy of BCC Research.

Growth in the spectroscopy market is occurring in the bio- and health care-related fields, in particular, he said. “The supercontinuum microscope, a more advanced version of the NLO (nonlinear optical) microscope, offers more applications and similar markets [to 2PEF spectroscopy] from resonant effects.”

Alfano envisions optical biopsy spectroscopy technologies such as 1PEF, 2PEF, SHG (second-harmonic generation spectroscopy), resonance Raman, and near-IR and short-wave IR imaging to grow and ultimately enter the clinical area and commercial marketplace in items such as smart refrigerators and food optical detectors for home use.

Swiftly evolving submarkets

Several different segments within the spectroscopy market are primed for growth, according to many market experts.

IR spectroscopy — categorized into near-, mid- and far-IR — is employed in biological, pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, environmental and semiconductor applications, and is a market that North America is expected to lead through the next several years. In 2015, this region held the largest IR spectroscopy market share. Overall, this sector of the spectroscopy market should top $1.26 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.5 percent.

Raman spectroscopy joins the aforementioned submarkets in significant growth over the next several years. In a 2016 study from ReportLinker, this sector is expected to grow nearly 10 percent annually through 2021 to reach $1.8 billion. It topped out at $1.1 billion in 2016. The life sciences is the largest application area for Raman spectroscopy; this area alone is on target to reach $658 million by 2021. Semiconductor applications in Raman spectroscopy should grow to $271 million by 2021.

“Probe-based Raman spectroscopy accounts for the largest share of the market in terms of instrument sales, and this product segment is expected to continue to lead the market throughout the forecast period,” said BCC Research analyst Sinha Gaurav. “In terms of sampling techniques, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) accounted for the largest market share, with 40.9 percent of the global market in 2015.”

Another area set for growth is the process spectroscopy market; process spectroscopy is any use of spectroscopy to obtain real-time data to monitor and optimize a manufacturing process. This market “reflects the rising awareness for quality throughput among end-use industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and food and agriculture,” according to information from Radiant Insights Inc., a market research and consulting company.

Experts there believe the process spectroscopy market will hit $1.27 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of nearly 9 percent. MarketsandMarkets, an international market research company, cites the pharmaceutical industry as a key end-use segment for such market growth; specifically, an increased focus on drug safety regulations, “where process spectroscopy techniques enable the detection of metals in drug samples.”

Market growth drivers

Continually developing spectroscopy technologies are pushing market growth in numerous sectors, including the aforementioned mass, process, IR and Raman spectroscopy.

The expansion of the Raman spectroscopy market is driven by technological advancements namely in health care and research, as well as diagnostics, materials science and mining. Other growth factors include “rising demand for R&D and increasing applications in homeland security, medical diagnosis, food processing, carbon materials and semiconductors.”

Also, “increasing demand for real-time analysis of samples in the harshest conditions is expected to propel the demand for SERS during the [market] forecast period [2016-2021],” said BCC’s Gaurav.

The growth of IR spectroscopy, and all of its subcategories, can be attributed to anticipated increases in government funding for R&D in North America, as well as potential changes in drug development regulations, according to Marketsand-Markets in a 2016 report. Advancements in and the rise of bio-related research sectors such as proteomics could also contribute, offering “a platform for key players to showcase new products and technologies.”

Similar forces are driving the process spectroscopy market — technological advancements and prices that experts anticipate will be critical parameters affecting the industry. The popularity of portable or handheld spectroscopy instruments should drive the market growth, as well, over the forecast period. Additionally, the focus on reducing operational expenditure should further drive the global adoption of process spectroscopy.

Growth of this submarket globally will also be “fueled by the [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration’s move to implement process analytical technologies in the pharmaceutical industry,” according to a Transparency Market report.

Looking to the future

In addition to global growth, the spectroscopy market continues to expand “largely due to the technological developments and demand from pharmaceutical and biotechnology, environmental, and food and beverage industries,” BCC told Photonics Media. From $13.5 billion in 2015, this market is expected to hit $15.6 billion by 2020. North America alone will account for nearly $6 billion.

The spectroscopy market evolution can be attributed to a rising interest in eco-friendly technologies and increased environmental concerns, for which spectroscopic instruments can play a key role. BCC added that “R&D spending, increasing competition, patent expiries and new technologies are giving a direction to the [spectroscopy] market.” The advancements, new product launches and changing lifestyles have influenced the spectroscopy market to grow into the future.


Photonics Spectra
Feb 2017
An instrument consisting essentially of a tube 160 mm long, with an objective lens at the distant end and an eyepiece at the near end. The objective forms a real aerial image of the object in the focal plane of the eyepiece where it is observed by the eye. The overall magnifying power is equal to the linear magnification of the objective multiplied by the magnifying power of the eyepiece. The eyepiece can be replaced by a film to photograph the primary image, or a positive or negative relay...
second-harmonic generation
A process whereby two fields of the same optical frequency interact in a nonlinear material to produce a third field, which has a frequency twice that of the two input fields.
two-photon excited fluorescence
Two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) is a nonlinear optical method that allows imaging of biological cells and living tissue. The advantage of TPEF in comparison to conventional fluorescence microscopy is that it provides natural confocality and allows sectioning of the sample. Because it typically uses near-infrared excitation light, the penetration depth is significantly increased. TPEF is implemented as fast imaging microscopy for noninvasive optical pathology. TPEF has been used in...
spectroscopymarketsCity College of New YorkDr. Robert AlfanoInstitute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasersmicroscopenonlinear opticalsecond-harmonic generationtwo-photon excited fluorescenceNIRRamanSWIRimagingA to Z Researchmass spectroscopyTransparency Market ResearchNorth AmericaEuropeAsia-PacificIRnear-IRmid-IRfar-IRMarketsandMarketsReportLinkerR&DBCC ResearchpharmaceuticalsSpectroscopy Special Section

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